Monday, May 28, 2007

piping gigs are awesome

So, yah... did I hit the jackpot when it comes to hobbies.  I guess it comes from the fact that I've excelled in the hobby to the point I can get good gigs... but who's counting?


Rory emailed me to do this Air Cadet annual dinner... usually I charge about $100 for these gigs, but Rory told them $50, so I split teh difference for $75.


So what did I do to earn this $75?  Well I get suited up, drive over early, practice a bit, run over the logistics, then play for about 5minutes.  Then I get a free dinner (I'll get to that later).  Then do some practicing and  then the exactly same piping (5min) but in reverse to get them out.


So really I did about 10min in total of piping, 10min of practicing and i get CASH and a free meal!  Sweet.


Now the dinner was pretty funny... I didn't know any of these cadet kids at all.  So after some idle chit chat, it was getting a little awkward.  Until somebody tried to shake the coffee creamer thimble.  They said they were going to try to make butter.  Beign a "chemicist" I had to point out that this isn't possible.  I told this (highschool age) girl that we used to do this as a test to see how long somebody might do this ... sort of a stupidity test.  Which she then proceeded to tell the younger kids that it could happen.  This one young girl shook the creamer for about a full hour.  Never stopped!  Just kept asking me "how long has it been now?"  One of the older girls even went so far as to put real butter into a coffee creamer as evidence that another table had already done it!  Pretty funny!


Ah, well... to be young and dumb.  Not for this guy anymore.


Friday, May 25, 2007

the perils of being a biker

NO, not the Hell's Angel's type... just a bicycle type.


Well, yesterday was pretty fun.  I woke up in the morning with Mandy, and she asked if I was going to give her a ride because it was going to rain.  I looked outside and it wasn't raining, so I told her she could take the car, I would bike it.


getting to work was easy.  Going home?  Well, a bit of a cloud came over, misted the place up pretty good.  I didn't mind getting wet so much... but the constant soaking of my butt and splattering of mud all over me (like it kept getting in my eyes!).  I was a sight when I got home.  Man, that was kinda fun actually... weird thing is now my bike squeaks alot.  Wonder how I can fix that.


Today (Friday)... I almost got killed.  And not a "i almost was hit by a car" story I told a while back about how i was biking on the wrong side of the road and then when another biker came along, i had to move into traffic to avoid him.  That was pretty tame.


I was biking down the street (on the right side) and I was coming up to the intersection with another car at about the same time.  She slowed down adn put her blinker on for a right turn.  I wanted to turn left.  So I take it for granted that a) she'll stop, which will give me enough time to get around her; b) she sees me.


As i'm going left and in front of her SHE MOVES!  Nearly clipped my back wheel.  Had she been a bit faster going out she would hit ME.  Crazy bitch!  That would NOT have been a good ending to the day.  It's been a long week.  I need to go find some Innis&Gunn ruby... or something.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Good new rollerblading spot

Eat your heart out Cindy...


Picked out my rollerblades again this summer.  Brandy picked herself up a pair and they're keeping us active.  I can't believe how much I'm losing already.  I'm fitting clothes I couldn't before, it's great.


Well, looking for places to go and blade is ahrd.  Brandy doesn't like to blade on uneven ashphalt.  So Deb recommended the new extension to the Expressway.  Man, that's awesome.  From the highway to Mapleward is 5k.  It's a good long go.  So there and back, it's 10km... very good.


Took some photos with my cellphone.  It was a nice time.  We've gone a few times.  The first time was hilarious.  We were unsure we could actually park there with all the signs etc... but as we were parking another car came behind us, and when we got backthere were even more cars.


So all you other bladers in Thunder Bay, trust me, it's worth the trip to go there... and those of you not here... well I'm sure you have nice blading places as well, but this is cool!



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Biking while wet...

Okay, I know I'm beginnnig to sound like a broken record, but it has been a while since I've been on.  Not much to report I guess...

Lately I've been trying to bike to work alot, and it's been GREAT.  I used the car only 2x last week.  It's been cool saving all that money in gas.  Plus I've lost 5lbs already (but I tend to find them on the weekend).  So I've bought a couple of new biking outfits... well sort of workout pants and shirts so that I just don't sweat up regular clothes.

Today was the first day there was going to be some rain.  (Well yesterday there was as well, but I drove because I had to do some errands after work).  Anyways, I biked this morning and it was damp, but not raining.  5min into the bike and it was RAINING .  Not heavily, just constant enough that I was wet.  By the time I went home it was good.  I hope I can really keep this up... lose anotehr few pounds.  I'd like to get down to 200 or lower.

Work... well PTC is gettign 'fun'.  Doing alot of tutorial stuff for Office 2007.  Finished Word today.  So that's about 1/4 done.  Bought a good book for it, but it doesn't look ilke I"ll be reimbursed for it... grr.  But I do like the new Vista.  If this download ever finishes I can try it out on my computer.

What also is geting fun is how busy we're getting.  As of Monday we'll be at 42 people.  Yikes!  Juggling the right number of computers is always fun.

The not-so fun part is when 2 of the morning guys can ruin your whole day.  They're brutal.  One has needed a day or 2 off book work (or so he says) so I let him on the computer... yesterday I caught him on game sites, and today the internet was down so he didn't want to be on anymore.  When I tried to get him to do some work he just gives me rude remakrs back.  Then he complains to he CM that "the teacher's are hovering".  GRR...

How's the house shopping coming?  Well it's coming.  We've decided that we need to do a lot of debt reduction and saving for a down payment.  When we went to the bank I had a number in mind... they said a number that was higher.  A few days later they get us an official number which is somewhere in the middle.  Which is good... but they had stipulations.  Which kidna gave me some angst.  So we're just going to go and have plan our finances a little better for the next few months.  Wish us luck.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A exhaled sigh of relief

I know it's been awhile since my last blog... I'm horrible at doing things consistently.


So, since my last blog time, I must say things are looking up.  In the past few days PTC has gained like 7 new clients that start tomorrow... so needless to say the number of employed hours has increased, so we got the go-ahead to hire somebody else on without worrying about my availability.  Which is good... I know Julie felt awkward having to ask, and I can't fault her for asking.  Really, I have it VERY good there.  It also helped that Rain sent me a nice email saying that I'm "OK'd" there and I should never have anything to worry about... seriously.  I feel guilty.  I feel like that lazy cousin that the family has to get together and support because he's too bone idle to get a job or something.


Things are looking really good at PTC.  We got new computers, I got the go-ahead for the upgrades to the existing ones.  John at ACO gave me a really good deal on RAM.  So good that I was able to get an extra one and still be less than what I told Tony.


So putting together the new computers we got made me realize 2 things for Monday:


  1. Vista is pretty neat, and I'm getting myself a copy (especially since I'll have to show others how to use it, so I should know how to use it myself)
  2. They only had Office 2007 installed - so all the thoughts of me putting together a tutorial package on it have been stepped up from "maybe" to "has to be done for Monday" status.

I spent almost all of Sunday just doing a walkthrough of Word.  And I still haven't finished!  I'm about half the way through Word, and it's jsut the basic stuff.  Haven't even touched images, text boxes, columns, tables, etc... and those are the harder stuff.  So I wouldn't even hazard to guess I'm half way done.  At least the stuff I have done will be enough for one day, so I can spend Monday night working on hopefully enough to keep them busy for Tuesday, etc...  argh.

Other than that, things are good.  Realization about this whole house thing is settling in and the tightening of the belt is starting to happen.  But that was an inevitability.  Just gotta stop going out to shags and whatnot.

Sent in my fine on Saturday saying that I would contest the charge in court.  So apparently I'm going ot Traffic Court!  Wish me luck.  The lady said that after I sent in the form that in 3-4 weeks they'd send me when my date in court would be.  Which is most likely 2-3 weeks after that... so I think I have a lot of time before I meet this thing head on.  I hope I don't forget anything.

Well that's pretty much all I had to say... l8r all!

oh, go check out my Fable Pics... I found out how to get the Pimp Hat, goes perfect with the Bordello he owns now!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

That's a lot to take in in one day

... that's what she said!  Man, I love the Office!



So, today was THE day.  We went to the bank to look into our possibility of getting a mortgage and stuff.  I've thought and done some pre-calculations myself on it so it wasn't entirely a surprise.  We looked at the payments and figured out what might be a top limit for us.  Which wasn't a surprise.  The kicker came in when she reminded us that we would have to have a sizeable chunk of money to be able to do teh closing cost stuff.  Which for us right now, given our debts, might be hard to come up with.  Give me a year and I'll have my car paid off, and it won't be so hard, but now... a little iffy.


So, ya... they didn't laugh at us.  They did need us to get some 'confirmed numbers' for them (as they couldn't pull up that info on the computer) before we get an official pre-approval.  But at least we were up front with our "we know nothing" stance, which was good... we ended up learning a few things.  normally I just pretend to know and nod whenever necessary.


The other good thing that came out was we started our RRSP investment stuff.  Something about mutual funds and what not... but it's started at least.  We needed to.


What wasn't so good today was when I was asked by Julie if I could "confirm which days of the week you would be supply teaching."  Essentially she wanted me to say I would only supply teach on specific days.  She wants to hire ANOTHER person there.  Which sort of makes sense, but at the same time, ... I can't give that confirmation.  I'm in a lose-lose situation if I do.


If I were to say I'll only supply teach on Thursday or Friday each week... what if i don't get called those days?  What if I get called on Mon-Wed?  Do I turn them down?  If I keep turning down days they stop calling me.  See?  Lose-Lose!!  Of all days to put this on me... the day we go in to look at a mortgage... sheesh!


I think i need some pepto!